The role of institution-building in US industrial modernization programs
An important issue for evaluating industrial modernization programs is how well alternative intervention strategies address the underlying problems that contribute to uneven patterns of technology adoption. The one-on-one industrial extension service model, where the state agency provides technical assistance directly to individual firms, constitutes one approach. By contrast, institution-building approaches emphasize inter-firm learning, in which government serves as the catalyst for bringing technology developers together with potential users and for providing closer linkages between organizations that are the technology leaders and those that tend to be followers. Programs that support such inter-firm learning opportunities stand a better chance of contending with the underlying problems retarding technology transfer, are more likely to gain acceptability by both technology leaders and followers, and are more likely to garner funds from the private sector.
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